Travel Packing Tips / 04.15.15Travel_Tips (1)When it comes to traveling, whether it’s for business or pleasure, the way in which you prep for your travels is important. Throughout my life I have travelled to some far out destinations for both business and pleasure and have created somewhat of a system for how I pack now. Coming up soon, I’ll be up in the air again, more so for business, and wanted to share the tips I’ve learned through experience.

It seems daunting if you are one to pack your entire closet for options at your final destination. It’s time to think more strategically and efficiently. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of over-packing experiences, but now, I have come to appreciate the efficiency in packing just what I need. When flying domestically or for short-stay international flights (< 5-7 days), I try to limit myself to only carry-on luggage. This entails a medium sized tote bag and an international sized roll on suitcase. Click for dimensions here.

Personally, I’m partial to the Tumi’s Vapor Series, International hardshell suitcase. While Tumi is a bit pricy, it is the standard for travel pieces and will last your lifetime. Not to mention, the company has a great system of replacing parts and pieces of your luggage if damaged, and has a lost/stollen luggage registration feature that is great as well. Considering that you will be paying a pretty penny for your luggage, Tumi has pulled all the stops in securing your investment. Also, Tumi has some great sales throughout the year, where the Vapor Series is reduced in price.

In regards to a medium sized tote, you can go investment price or save price on this item. (Check out my pervious post on that here if you are interested.) Depending on my mood, I’ll carry the particular bag that I know will hold my tablet, other carry-on items, and goes with most of the outfits I’m bringing, so it is almost always a neutral bag and pack a mini-crossbody in my luggage for when I arrive. With that being said, let’s talk strategy. I’ve listed below the steps I take for both of my carry-on pieces.

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Personal Item No. 1 – Medium Sized Tote

1. Think about what you would need access to if you were separated from your other bag in transit. Consolidate this down to the necessities. Depending on your trip, the items would vary. In my case, it’s my wallet, my tablet, my phone, headphones, lip conditioner, my favorite travel sized scent to refresh after a long flight, my sunglasses, necessary prescriptions, and a set of undergarments just in case you go a day stranded in an airport separated from your roll-on piece and in need of that!

2. In order to stay organized I have a place for everything, which means a case/pouch for items. At the bottom of this post is a list with links to where I shop for travel item organization.

Personal Item No. 2 – Roll-on piece

1. Plan your outfits ahead of time. If its for a week or less, you can do this easily. I tend to go to staples/classics in my wardrobe that travel well like basic oxford shirt, staple dress that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories, cute flat, a pair of jeans, etc.

2. I then lay my pants or a jacket at the bottom of the suitcase and let the remanding portion that won’t fit in hang out of the side as illustrated in the image below. I then place tops, shoes, toilety bag, and other items within the suitcase.

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3. Following, I fold the items that are hanging out over the pieces beneath. This is a great way to pack bulkier pieces without losing as much space.

4. You’re ready to jet set!

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Links to pieces in the post:

Tumi ‘Vapor’ International Hard Shell (22 Inch): here

Medium Sized Totes: here, here

Travel Cases: here, here, here

Tablet Case: old, similar here

Lip conditioner, great for dryness on long flights: here

Fragrance: here


Top Stops: San Diego

In a reflection on my trip to San Diego, one of the best attributes encompassed some of the many hidden gems sprinkled throughout the San Diego area. From best hiking and walking trails, impressive views of the sunset over the Pacific, to top local eats and drinks, the best ones were out of the main stream and more so in the places where locals go and few tourists know of.

See my top picks below!

Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar


To top the list was, Bo-Beau, a French kitchen and restaurant. Located on Point Loma in Ocean Beach, the restaurant is known for its varied menu of flatbreads, meats, green eats, savory sides, and outstanding drinks. They even have an in depth gluten free menu as well. The intimate, rustic, candle lit venue accompanied with outstanding food, created an atmosphere that topped off the dining experience. If you are ever in the area, give it a try and order the crispy brussel sprouts and the butternut squash flatbread!

Sunset Cliffs (at dusk)


While going to Sunset Cliffs at anytime during the day will provide you with picturesque and sweeping views of the Pacific coast, the best time to go is slightly before sunset. Taking a hike along the coast and then stopping to take in the sunset at one of the many view points is one of the best ways to take it all in.

Japanese Gardens at Balboa Park


While Balboa Park is one the of busiest tourist destinations housing the nationally acclaimed San Diego Zoo alongside a plethora of museums and green spaces, there are numerous points within the park that are not as crowded and house some outstanding experiences. My favorite of these was the Japanese Gardens. The gardens were absolutely breathtaking and truly take you through a journey spatially and historically into Japanese landscaping, architecture, and history.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge


If you are a runner like I am, or enjoy long walks, walking or running through Bankers Hill neighborhood is a great two-in one experience. Firstly, the beautiful and mature neighborhood is absolutely breathtaking, and has a great variety of homes from numerous decades that line the streets. Secondly, during your run or walk, you will have the opportunity to cross the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, which is both an exciting and peaceful experience in itself. Architecturally, running or walking the streets is a great way to see how people in this particular community live and is also a great treat to take in local architecture. Not to mention, the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is the only one of its kind in the US, and is definitely worth checking out during your next trip to San Diego!


Keep Austin Weird…

Cathedral of Junk Stairs

Cathedral of Junk

Indiana Tag

This past week, I spent time in Austin for the holidays. It was my first time in that particular part of Texas, and it was such an enjoyable experience. One of the first things that I learned about the capital of the Lone Star State was its catchy slogan, Keep Austin Weird. Adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance, it aims to promote small businesses in Austin. Throughout my time there, I explored numerous hidden gems within the city that were both weird and funky while also promoting the many small businesses in Austin. Overall, the city had an incredible vibe about it, not to mention the weather was fabulous in December! Numerous street vendors and restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums made up a great built fabric. One of the most memorable attractions with images above, was the Cathedral of Junk, a funky homage to items from previous decades past, housed in a cool man’s back yard.

Some other great attractions to check out:

Elisabet Ney Museum + Studio | South Congress Neighborhood | The Hope Outdoor Gallery

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